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System Overview

Typical Federal Office Building Potable Water Use
Typical Federal Office Building Potable Water Use

A typical Federal office building with 200 employees uses about 3,000 gallons of water in one day. The daily water usage breaks down under these categories.

Water Resource Management is a growing concern in the U.S. as communities face challenges regarding water supply and competition for water resources, as well as a need to update aging water treatment and delivery systems.1 Strains on water supplies and aging water treatment systems can lead to a variety of consequences for communities, such as:

  • Higher cost of water to ensure continued access to a reliable and safe supply
  • Expensive water treatment projects to transport and store freshwater when local demand overcomes available capacity
  • Increased summer watering restrictions to manage shortages
  • Seasonal loss of recreational areas like lakes and rivers when the human demand for water conflicts with environmental needs

The Federal Government spends an estimated $1 billion on water and sewer services annually.2 This includes 148 to 165 billion gallons of potable water, enough to supply a state the size of New Jersey, or 8 million people.3 Of this amount, a significant percentage can be preserved through water conservation measures4 targeting:

  • Distribution system improvements (including leak detection, repair, and replacement)
  • Heating and cooling (including steam boilers, cooling towers, and single pass cooling)
  • Landscaping/Irrigation
  • Laboratory and medical equipment (including water purification, sterilization equipment, and washing applications)

Moderate efficiency efforts and proper maintenance of water system components can save the Federal Government approximately forty percent of its water and related energy use, leading to beneficial resource, human, and financial implications.

Net Zero Concept

Net Zero Emissions is a term that refers to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions generated from resource consumption to as close to zero as possible and the concept is applicable to all resource use, including water.

Efforts to further reduce water use and protect water resources can be described by the Net Zero Concept. Net Zero Water refers to the concept of balancing water demand with water availability. The goal is to achieve a state where the amount of water used is equal to the amount of water replenished or restored, resulting in a net zero water balance.

For more guidance, see Building Water Use.

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Water Components

  • Facility-Wide
  • Kitchen
  • Restroom
  • Mechanical Room
  • Grounds/Landscape